Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, the first Chief Midwifery Officer for England, has awarded Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Head of Midwifery Paula Schofield with one of the top midwifery awards today.
The Chief Midwifery Silver Officer Awards are designed to recognise and reward the significant and outstanding contribution made by midwives in England. Paula received her award as a result of her commitment to excellence.
Paula began her 36-year nursing career in Sheffield, working in the clinical speciality of medicine and surgery before starting her midwifery training and career in Chesterfield.
A ‘rising star’, she quickly established her leadership skills and went on to take up further roles at Sheffield and then at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham before returning to work at the Jessop Wing as lead midwife. She is currently Head of Midwifery and Nurse Director of Laboratory Medicine, Medical Imaging & Medical Physics, Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology.
Paula, with the support of a dedicated team of clinicians and support staff, has overseen a number of key transformations in maternity services and care during her time in Sheffield. This has included the implementation of the recommendations of ‘Changing Childbirth’ report, which sought to put women at the centre of maternity care and the midwife-life continuity of carer initiative, where women see the same midwife or team of midwives during pregnancy, birth and the early stages of parenting.
Professor Dunkley-Bent said: “The Chief Midwifery Officer Awards celebrate the ways that staff have gone above and beyond to improve care for women and their babies, as well as their contribution to the profession of midwifery as a whole. I was extremely proud to hear about the amazing work that has taken place in Sheffield and honoured to have the opportunity to present this award to Paula.”
Professor Chris Morley, Chief Nurse for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that Paula has been awarded a prestigious Chief Midwifery Officer Award. Paula is a kind and compassionate midwife and nurse who has devoted many years to the service of women and their families and the staff who care for them. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Paula for her outstanding contribution to the nursing and midwifery profession over the past 36 years. Not only has her strategic vision and commitment ensured that our staff are well equipped to provide high quality, effective and safe to women and their babies, but as she prepares to retire next month, she leaves behind a strong and proud legacy, embodied by her personal and professional values, which will continue to support current and future generations of women and their babies.”